The power of innovation for creating a better future for New Zealand

The power of innovation for creating a better future for New Zealand

When a new product or service is released people are presented with a new choice -shall we stay with the old or try the new?

Our society has developed on the uptake of choosing the new-innovation has advanced all our lives in everyday ways- housing,health,education, travel, communication,food.

The pace of change is now so significant that we can run the risk of being sidelined if we do not choose the new and keep up. For example older people in today’s world who are not proficient technologically more likely to be cut off than they were just a few years ago.  In this regard it is not long since the phone land line and postal services, both familiar and uncomplicated, were most people’s accepted main communication link from their homes.

In the future innovation will continue to alter our societal patterns and the way we procure the basics of life, e.g. food, health and education,will change. The success of these changes in improving the overall quality of life will be dependent upon widespread intelligent uptake of the new.

Our agricultural industry may help to illustrate this point. In recent years many sheep farmers suffering poor returns chose to convert to dairy. I was amazed at how quickly they could assess potential and actually carry out the transformation. They were resilient and a fine example of both innovation and entrepreneurship. Their ability to change was driven by access to capital funding, intelligence about expected returns and intense research and development invested in the sector for years and years.

I believe that there is a real need to address broad social innovation changes alongside our quest for technical and scientific breakthroughs. For instance if every NZ schoolchild had his or her own IPad the momentum and power of innovation across the population would increase  driven by the improved ability of our people to create and  collaborate.

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